Leaving thoughtful comments on blog posts is reportedly a great way to drive traffic to your own blog. These seven tips for making good comments will help when you want to comment on a post, but all you can think of is “Uhhhh…..good blog post, dude!”
Here’s what ProBlogger Darren Rowse says about comments and blogging:
“I think commenting is the best part of my blogging – especially here at ProBlogger,” writes Rowse in Using Comments on Your Blog. “You see I’m not that profound or wise, but many of my readers are. Comments add value to my blog. They take my posts to the next level and often take my ideas in rewarding new directions.”
But not ALL blog comments are profound or wise, and not all blog comments lead readers to the commenter’s blog. Here are a few thoughts on making comments on blogs that inspire readers to click over and visit your blog. And for more info about making money blogging, read Rowse’s ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income – it’s a goldmine of information!
7 Tips for Making Good Comments on Blog Posts
1. Share your mistakes and weaknesses. Research shows that people who make mistakes are more likeable than those who appear to be perfect. People who make mistakes are seen as more approachable and less judgmental than perfect people – so don’t be afraid to free your foibles. For instance, if you’re commenting on a blog post about increasing traffic to your blog, you could briefly describe your experience of writing a post that made your readers flee in droves.
2. Follow up on bits of information in the blog post. This is one of my favorite tips for making small talk in person, and it works equally well for commenting on blog posts. People leave breadcrumbs as they talk and write – you need only pick them up! For example, in 10 Tips for Achieving Your Writing Goals Mark Richard Webb said that for writers to be successful, “they must be willing to do the things that most writers aren’t willing to do. They must push beyond their limits and go beyond their comfort zone.” A good comment on this blog post could flesh out what this actually means. How do writers leave their comfort zones and do things that other writers aren’t willing to do? Give examples. Offer suggestions. Ask questions.
3. Follow up on other commenters’ comments. If a previous commenter says something interesting or provocative, respond to it! Even just saying “Interesting perspective! Have you thought of ______?” can encourage interaction and make you more interesting as a blogger and person. For instance, one of my readers (Manalto) pointed out that another reader commented with the phrase “acutely aware” (“aware” on its own is sufficient — “acutely” may be unnecessary). I thought this was a very clever way to comment on my 51 Over-Used Adverbs, Nouns, and Clichés in Writing post.
4. Ask questions about the blog post. In The Personality Traits of a Successful Writer, Barb Nefer says “A writer isn’t going to get very far if she’s crushed by rejection slips or intimidated by everyone else out there who might be a better writer.” Asking questions about this or almost any statement in a post can encourage interaction and grab the blogger and blog readers’ attention. Use the standard journalist’s formula for gleaning information: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
5. Be curious about the blogger. “People are flattered when you find them appealing – and they naturally reciprocate,” says Dr Ann Demarais, psychologist and co-author of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You. “Showing interest in others makes you more likeable because it shows you’re confident.” And when you’re confident and likeable, you’ll attract more readers to your blog! So, ask questions about the blogger’s education, experience, lifestyle, work habits.
6. Follow up on your previous comments and questions. If you ask a question of a blogger or fellow reader, make sure you return for the answer – and offer thanks. Don’t be a “hit and run” commenter! Instead, interact with the other commenters and develop a relationship with them.
7. Show some personality in your comments. This is where your writer’s voice comes in handy, fellow scribes. To make good comments on blog posts, let your true nature, thoughts, opinions, and feelings shine through. For instance, a writer told me that the word “scribe” should be banished. That’s fair. I won’t stop using the word — but his comment did make me click over to his blog to learn more about him.
Help for Writers and Bloggers
What say you about my tips for making good comments on blog posts? Good (and bad) comments welcome below!